Mission and destination


The story is told about a priest who asked a boy to come inside the church to pray but the boy refused, saying that his bike might get stolen. The priest told him: “Do not worry. The Holy Spirit will watch over your bike.” Once inside, the boy started to pray: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son. Amen.” When asked by the priest about the Holy Spirit, he replied: “Oh, He is outside watching my bike.”

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 12, 32-48), Jesus tells us to be watchful and vigilant, “like servants who await their Master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when He comes and knocks.” May we not become so engrossed in our worldly treasures such as material possessions, achievements, good name, etc., such that we lose sight of our true treasures in this life and in the life to come. As in our story, do we leave out God from our lives because we are so concerned with and focused on our material possessions?

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Losing something or someone valuable is one of the greatest fears in each one of us. The antidote to fear is faith—and trust. Without faith, we panic, we become petrified, and we get lost. The sooner we learn to let go and to let God, the better. Many of us spend a whole lifetime playing the control game. The Lord reminds us today to seek security not so much in our worldly plans and achievements, but more in His will and providence.

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When we were seminarians, we learned how to be “vigilant” because our prefect of discipline could suddenly appear anytime and anywhere to catch us if we were violating seminary rules. Many times we had our way of circumventing and getting away with disciplinary actions, and thought that we were wise. But our prefect, in more ways than one, always came out wiser. In the same way, God is God and He alone is. May we have little or no regrets in the end that we played God or thought we were some greater gods compared to others around us.

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A week from now, we will commemorate the first death anniversary of Jesse Robredo, former secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government. Death came sudden and fast, when his plane crashed on Aug. 18, 2012, in Masbate. None of us know when, how and where death will come. Indeed we do not know when our Master will call us. By his life and by his death, the late secretary reminds us that the best preparation for death is a life well-lived.

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Let us ask ourselves today: How will I exit from this life? Will it be through a sudden death, a lingering illness or through a peaceful slumber? But beyond these we should ask: Will I exit in shame, in bitterness, in loneliness, in anger; or in peace, in contentment and in total surrender to God’s will? Let us continue to pray for the grace of a life well-lived, and a meaningful death.

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A vigilant faith is what our Lord teaches us today. Our faith in God makes us see all things, peoples and events in our lives as real, but passing. And as we journey on, we must not lose sight of our mission in this world, and of our final destination—God’s very heart. Yes, let us not be like “mice, who play while the cat is away.”

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Our Lord also teaches us today lively faith. Precisely because of our faith, we can smile and be at peace even in our most difficult moments because of the assurance that our loving God is in control, and that He will make all things beautiful in His time. May we learn from St. Lawrence, the happy saint, to be joyful in the Lord.

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Speaking of vigilance, two days ago, while walking around our basketball court at Christ the King Seminary, I saw something quite unusual—a sprout growing out of the concrete pavement. On closer look, I saw a rotting mango fruit, and from its seed had come forth, a little stem with five little leaves! Wow! How did it survive in the concrete pavement? And how come it was not trampled upon or crushed in such a busy and much frequented place? The message was clear—God protects those who trust in Him, and from death and decay will spring forth life and hope. It was such a life-giving moment for me.

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Today, let us find time to thank the Lord for the many times He made possible what we thought was impossible, and bearable what we thought was unbearable. Our faith in God does not make life problem-free. Our faith in God makes life despair-free.

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Thought for the journey: “Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of your tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then to put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”

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Inviting you to a pilgrimage to Vietnam (Sept. 10-17, 2013), which will include a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of La Vang, Ho Chi Minh, Danang, Halong Bay and Hanoi. Please contact 523-8581 to 88/ 521-4156 or e-mail

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, may I never lose sight of my life mission and my final destination. Amen.

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    The main message is: let God, let go. God is in control, not me. Trust Him and be happy.

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